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Why Luckin’s ultimate target may not be Starbucks

Starbucks plans to double its store count in China to 5,000 in 2021 and Luckin, a one-year-old coffee startup, is matching up by aiming to reach 4,500 by the end of this year. Luckin’s upsized $651 million flotation has brought American investors’ attention to this potential Starbucks rival in China, where the Seattle giant controlled over half of the coffee market as late as 2017. But as soon as you make your first purchase with Luckin, you realize its ultimate goal may not be to topple Star...
Tags: Apps, Asia, Finance, Social, Startups, TC, 7-eleven, China, Coffee, Courier Services, Drinks, Food, Food And Drink, Luckin, Luckin Coffee, Seattle


Indian PM Narendra Modi’s reelection spells more frustration for US tech giants

Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election on Thursday, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of the world’s largest democracy. The re-election, which gives Modi’s government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, as well as the local play of...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Social, Startups, Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Asia, Spotify, Media, Government, China, India, Narendra Modi, US


Instagram’s vertical IGTV surrenders to landscape status quo

A year ago Instagram made a bold bet with the launch of IGTV: That it could invent and popularize a new medium of long-form vertical videos. Landscape uploads weren’t allowed. Co-founder Kevin Systrom told me in August that “What I’m most proud of is that Instagram took a stand and tried a brand new thing that is frankly hard to pull off. Full-screen vertical video that’s mobile only. That doesn’t exist anywhere else.” Now a dedicated hub for multi-minute portrait mode video won’t exist anywh...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Entertainment, Youtube, US, Tech, Creators, Kevin Systrom, App Annie, Co, Instagram IGTV, IGTV


Gender, race and social change in tech; Moira Weigel on the Internet of Women, Part Two

Tech ethics can mean a lot of different things, but surely one of the most critical, unavoidable, and yet somehow still controversial propositions in the emerging field of ethics in technology is that tech should promote gender equality. But does it? And to the extent it does not, what (and who) needs to change? In this second of a two-part interview “On The Internet of Women,” Harvard fellow and Logic magazine founder and editor Moira Weigel and I discuss the future of capitalism and its relati...
Tags: Google, Social, Startups, TC, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, Elon Musk, Wage Gap, Media, Sexism, Government, China, Tech, Diversity, Logic


Now at Google, Facebook’s former teen-in-residence launches new social game Emojishot

Facebook’s former teen-in-residence Michael Sayman, now at Google, is back today with the launch of a new game: Emojishot, an emoji-based guessing game for iOS, built over the past ten weeks within Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120. The game, which is basically a version of charades using emoji characters, is notable because of its creator. By age 17, Sayman had launched five apps and had become Facebook’s youngest-ever employee. Best known for his hit game 4 Snaps, the developer caught Mark...
Tags: Google, Social, Gaming, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Game, Tech, Google Facebook, Area 120, Michael Sayman, Lifestage, Facebook Sayman, Sayman, Emojishot, Camera Roll Players


Zendesk acquires Smooch, doubles down on support via messaging apps like WhatsApp

One of the bigger developments in customer services has been the impact of social media — both as a place to vent frustration or praise (mostly frustration), and — especially over messaging apps — as a place for businesses to connect with their users. Now, customer support specialist Zendesk has made an acquisition so that it can make a bigger move into how it works within social media platforms, and specifically messaging apps: it has acquired Smooch, a startup that describes itself as an “omni...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Apps, Enterprise, Messaging, US, Tech, Canada, M&a, Silicon Valley, Lvmh, Zendesk, Exit, Customer Support


Facebook found hosting masses of far right EU disinformation networks

A multi-month hunt for political disinformation spreading on Facebook in Europe suggests there are concerted efforts to use the platform to spread bogus far right propaganda to millions of voters ahead of a key EU vote which kicks off tomorrow. Following the independent investigation, Facebook has taken down a total of 77 pages and 230 accounts from Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Poland — which had been followed by an estimated 32 million people and generated 67 million ‘interactions’ ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Europe, France, Germany, Tech, Eu, Spain, European Union, United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Dublin, Vox, Sheryl Sandberg, Far Right


Indonesia restricts WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram usage following deadly riots

Indonesia is the latest nation to hit the hammer on social media after the government restricted the use of WhatsApp and Instagram following deadly riots yesterday. Numerous Indonesia-based users are today reporting difficulties sending multimedia messages via WhatsApp, which is one of the country’s most popular chat apps, and posting content to Facebook, while the hashtag #instagramdown is trending among the country’s Twitter users due to problems accessing the Facebook-owned photo app. W...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Asia, Instagram, Indonesia, Government, India, Social Media, Tech, Spokesperson, Whatsapp, Software, President, Joko Widodo, Sri Lanka, Presidential Election


Daily Crunch: Instagram influencer contact info exposed

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed A massive database containing contact information for millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts was found online by a security researcher. We traced the database back to Mumbai-based social medi...
Tags: Google, Security, Social, Instagram, US, Tech, Gm, Mumbai, Huawei, Maisie Williams, Trump, Department of Commerce, Danny Crichton, Daily Crunch, Bytedance TikTok, Chtrbox Shortly


Facebook still a great place to amplify pre-election junk news, EU study finds

A study carried out by academics at Oxford University to investigate how junk news is being shared on social media in Europe ahead of regional elections this month has found individual stories shared on Facebook’s platform can still hugely outperform the most important and professionally produced news stories, drawing as much as 4x the volume of Facebook shares, likes, and comments. The study, conducted for the Oxford Internet Institute’s (OII) Computational Propaganda Project, is intended to...
Tags: Security, Social, Facebook, Twitter, Europe, Isis, Sweden, Vladimir Putin, France, Germany, US, Social Media, Tech, Eu, European Union, Digital Media


Snap appoints new execs as it aims to keep 2019 momentum

Snap has another appointment in the apt saga of its ephemeral CFOs. Four months after losing its CFO Tim Stone following a reported “personality clash” between Stone and CEO Evan Spiegel, Snap has promoted its VP of Finance Derek Andersen to the role, the company said Monday. Andersen is the company’s third CFO since March of 2017, when it went public. Lara Sweet, who was serving as the company’s interim CFO as well as the chief accounting officer, will be stepping into a new role as chief pe...
Tags: Social, TC, Tech, Snap, Andersen, Tim Stone, Personnel, Derek Andersen, Stone and CEO Evan Spiegel Snap


Why is Facebook doing robotics research?

It’s a bit strange to hear that the world’s leading social network is pursuing research in robotics rather than, say, making search useful, but Facebook is a big organization with many competing priorities. And while these robots aren’t directly going to affect your Facebook experience, what the company learns from them could be impactful in surprising ways. Though robotics is a new area of research for Facebook, its reliance on and bleeding-edge work in AI are well known. Mechanisms that cou...
Tags: Social, TC, Gadgets, Facebook, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Robotics


Instagram’s IGTV copies TikTok’s AI, Snapchat’s design

Instagram conquered Stories, but it’s losing the battle for the next video formats. TikTok is blowing up with an algorithmically suggested vertical one-at-a-time feed featuring videos of users remixing each other’s clips. Snapchat Discover’s 2 x infinity grid has grown into a canvas for multi-media magazines, themed video collections, and premium mobile TV shows. Instagram’s IGTV…feels like a flop in comparison. Launched a year ago, it’s full of crudely cropped & imported viral trash from aro...
Tags: Social, Startups, TC, Mobile, Apps, Instagram, Tech, Snapchat, Snapchat Discover, Instagram video, Instagram IGTV, Tiktok


On the Internet of Women with Moira Weigel

“Feminism,” the writer and editor Marie Shear famously said in an often-misattributed quote, “is the radical notion that women are people.” The genius of this line, of course, is that it appears to be entirely non-controversial, which reminds us all the more effectively of the past century of fierce debates surrounding women’s equality. And what about in tech ethics? It would seem equally non-controversial that ethical tech is supposed to be good for “people,” but is the broader tech world and i...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Media, Sexism, Government, Women, Elizabeth Warren, Social Media, Tech, Diversity, Logic, Policy, Hillary Clinton


Facebook changes algorithm to promote worthwhile & close friend content

Facebook is updating the News Feed ranking algorithm to incorporate data from surveys about who you say are your closest friends and which links you find most worthwhile. Today Facebook announced it’s trained new classifiers based on patterns linking these surveys with usage data so it can better predict what to show in the News Feed. The change could hurt Pages that share click-bait and preference those sharing content that makes people feel satisfied afterwards. For close friends, Facebook ...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, Tech, Policy, Facebook News Feed, Facebook Algorithm, Facebook Survey, Varsha Sharma


Instagram is killing Direct, its standalone Snapchat clone app, in the next several weeks

As Facebook pushes ahead with its strategy to consolidate more of the backend of its various apps on to a single platform, it’s also doing a little simplifying and housekeeping. In the coming month, it will shut down Direct, the standalone Instagram direct messaging app that it was testing to rival Snapchat, on iOS and Android. Instead, Facebook and its Instagram team will channel all developments and activity into the direct messaging feature of the main Instagram app. We first saw a mess...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Messaging, Israel, Tech, Portugal, Uruguay, Instagram Direct, Direct Messaging, Matt Navarra, Android Instead Facebook, Direct app Instagram, Uruguay Chile Turkey Italy Portugal


Facebook introduces ‘one strike’ policy to combat abuse of its live-streaming service

Facebook is cracking down on its live streaming service after it was used to broadcast the shocking mass shootings that left 50 dead at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand in March. The social network said today that it is implementing a ‘one strike’ rule that will prevent users who break its rules from using the Facebook Live service. “From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time — for example 30 days — starting on ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Media, Instagram, Maryland, California, Social Media, Tech, Ceo, Artificial Intelligence, Software, Live, Computing, New Zealand, Myanmar


Uber Black launches Quiet Driver Mode

Tired of chatty drivers? Uber is finally giving users its most requested feature: an in-app way to ask for minimal conversation during your ride. The “Quiet Mode” feature is free and will be available to everyone in the US tomorrow, but only on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV premium rides. Users can select “Quiet preferred”, “happy to chat” or leave the setting at “No preference”. The desire for silence might convince more riders to pay for Uber’s more expensive vehicle types so they can work, na...
Tags: Social, TC, Apps, US, Tech, Uber Black, Aydin Ghajar, Ghajar


World leaders ask tech giants to tackle toxic content with Christchurch Call

On Wednesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will ask tech companies to sign a pledge called the Christchurch Call, as The New York Times previously reported. Digital ministers of the Group of 7 nations are meeting tomorrow to talk about toxic content and tech regulation. The Christchurch Call is the first result on that work and a way to start involving tech companies with a nonbinding pledge. Named after the terrorist attack in Christchurch, the agreement should ask tech platforms t...
Tags: Social, Microsoft, Digital, Tech, Policy, Regulation, New York Times, New Zealand, Christchurch, G7, Wikimedia Foundation, Facebook Google, Facebook YouTube, French Economy Ministry, New Zealand Norway, Jacinda Ardern


Twitter’s new Developer Labs offers beta access to rebuilt APIs

Twitter is finally modernizing its core APIs after seven years of stagnation, and it wants early feedback from developers. That’s why today it’s launching Twitter Developer Labs, which app makers can sign up for to experiment with pre-release beta APIs. First up will be real-time streaming access to the Twitter firehose with the expansion of tweet filtering plus impressions and engagement metrics that were only previously only available in its expensive enterprise API tiers. Twitter will also...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Mobile, Apps, Twitter, Developer, Tech, Policy, Twitter API, Cambridge Analytica, Ian Cairns, Twitter Policy, Twitter Platform, Twitter Developer Labs, Polls Twitter


Looking back at Zoom’s IPO with CEO Eric Yuan

Since the launch of its IPO in mid-April, Zoom stock has skyrocketed, up nearly 30% as of Monday’s open. However, as the company’s valuation continues to tick up, analysts and industry pundits are now diving deeper to try and unravel what the company’s future growth might look like. TechCrunch’s venture capital ax Kate Clark has been following the story with a close eye and will be sitting down for an exclusive conversation with Zoom CEO Eric Yuan on Wednesday at 10:00 am PT. Eric, Kate and E...
Tags: Social, TC, Apps, Media, Developer, Advertising Tech, Events, Tech, Kate, Initial Public Offering, Zoom, Eric, Conference Call, Eric Yuan, Kate Clark, Extra Crunch Conference Call


MailChimp’s Ben Chestnut on bootstrapping a startup to $700M in revenue

The well-known tech startup routine of coming up with an idea, raising money from VCs in increasing rounds as valuations continue to rise, and then eventually going public or getting acquired has been around for as long as the myth of Silicon Valley itself. But the evolution of MailChimp — a notable, bootstrapped outlier out of Atlanta, Georgia, that provides email and other marketing services to small businesses — tells a very different story of tech startup success. As the company closes in...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Evernote, Funding, Marketing, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Dropbox, Venture Capital


Friend portability is the must-have Facebook regulation

Choice for consumers compels fair treatment by corporations. When people can easily move to a competitor, it creates a natural market dynamic coercing a business to act right. When we can’t, other regulations just leave us trapped with a pig in a fresh coat of lipstick. That’s why as the FTC considers how many billions to fine Facebook or which executives to stick with personal liability or whether to go full-tilt and break up the company, I implore it to consider the root of how Facebook ...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, Fcc, Microsoft, Privacy, Washington Post, Opinion, Government, Tech, Snapchat, Policy


Zuckerberg says breaking up Facebook “isn’t going to help”

With the look of someone betrayed, Facebook’s CEO has fired back at co-founder Chris Hughes and his brutal NYT op-ed calling for regulators to split up Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. “When I read what he wrote, my main reaction was that what he’s proposing that we do isn’t going to do anything to help solve those issues. So I think that if what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year like we are in buildi...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Privacy, Drama, Government, Tech, Policy, Nick Clegg, Chris Hughes


India’s most popular services are becoming super apps

Truecaller, an app that helps users screen strangers and robocallers, will soon allow users in India, its largest market, to borrow up to a few hundred dollars in the nation. The crediting option will be the fourth feature the nine-year-old app adds to its service in the last two years. So far it has added to the service the ability to text, record phone calls and mobile payment features, some of which are only available to users in India. Of the 140 million daily active users of Truecaller, ...
Tags: Social, Food, Startups, Transportation, Mobile, Gaming, Cloud, Facebook, Uber, Apps, Asia, Hike, Media, Microsoft, Developer, Finance


Facebook sues analytics firm Rankwave over data misuse

Facebook might have another Cambridge Analytica on its hands. In a late Friday news dump, Facebook revealed that today it filed a lawsuit alleging South Korean analytics firm Rankwave abused its developer platform, and has refused to cooperate with a mandatory compliance check regarding how it used Facebook data. that alleges that Rankwave misused Facebook data outside of the apps where it was collected, purposefully delayed responding to a cease-and-desist order, claimed it didn’t violate ...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Lawsuit, Tech, Policy, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Platform, Facebook Policy, Rankwave


Tinder is preparing to launch a lightweight version of its dating app called ‘Tinder Lite’

Tinder is preparing to launch a version of its popular dating app aimed at users in emerging markets. The app, which will be called “Tinder Lite,” offers a smaller, more lightweight version of the current flagship app, the company says. Smaller app size is a defining characteristic of most of today’s “Lite” apps, which are specifically focused on addressing the unique needs of users in areas where data usage, bandwidth, and storage space is a concern. Most major tech companies now offer “Lite” a...
Tags: Social, Mobile, Apps, Tinder, Tech, Asia Pacific, Dating Apps, Match Group, Tinder Lite


Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, calls for Facebook to be broken up

The latest call to break up Facebook looks to be the most uncomfortably close to home yet for supreme leader, Mark Zuckerberg. “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” writes Chris Hughes, in an explosive op-ed published in the New York Times. “It is time to break up Facebook.” It’s a long read but worth indulging for a well articulated argument against the market-denting power of monopolies, shot through with a smattering of personal anecdotes about Hughes’ experience of Zuckerber...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, New York, Privacy, Advertising Tech, Internet, Congress, US, Social Media, Tech, Whatsapp, Harvard, United States, Antitrust


#1 app YOLO Q&A is the Snapchat platform’s 1st hit

There’s a new teen app sensation. Anonymous question-asking app YOLO has rocketed to the #1 US app position just a week after launching thanks to Snapchat. Built on top of the Snap Kit platform, YOLO uses Snapchat for login and Bitmoji profile pics to let you add an “ask me anything” sticker to your Snapchat Story. Friends can swipe up to open YOLO on iOS and send an anonymous question there that you then answer through another sticker posted to your Story. One source says “EVERYONE at my high s...
Tags: Apple, Google, Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, US, Tech, Snapchat, Justin Bieber, Vine, Secret, Anonymous Apps, Ryan Hoover, YOLO


Keyword research in 2019: Modern tactics for growing targeted search traffic

Glen Allsopp Contributor Glen Allsopp is the founder of Detailed.com, an SEO consultancy and newsletter focused on actionable tactics to grow search traffic. He also tracks successful online startups at Gaps.com. In 2019, it’s estimated that every minute there are 150 new websites coming online. While many of these won’t be long-term ventures, a large percentage will eventually find themselves looking to organic search engine traffic to grow their reach. This inv...
Tags: Google, Social, Startups, TC, Column, Media, Advertising Tech, Wikipedia, Seo, Tech, Web Analytics, Search Engines, Search, Hack, Quora, Zendesk



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